Enlarge image

Demonstration against the AfD in Nuremberg

Photo: Moritz Schlenk / IMAGO

I never actually go to political demonstrations; something stops me from doing so, because as a journalist you shouldn't have a party list. I don't believe in the distinction between "as a citizen" and "as a journalist"; after all, I'm not schizophrenic. In addition, we are privileged to be able to express our opinions in other ways, for example here.

I made an exception once, that was for a general pro-Europe demo in March 2017, after the Brexit vote. I was driven by anger at the entire lying band of Tory deceivers. And now we've set off again these days. We watched the demo in a suburb of Berlin. There were around a thousand participants there, at first glance mostly normal people. That would be almost 200,000 participants in Berlin. Not bad then.

But the good cause has its price: the black cloth of Antifa is waving diagonally in front of you. The SPD has brought red flags with them, they can be seen from far away, maybe there is television there. Yogi flyers have come, Fridays for Future anyway, along with sounding singing bowls, colorful rainbows, lots of small children and cardboard signs “Grandmas against the right.” Later, someone from a Turkish community comes to the podium and explains that the reason for the rise of the AfD is the unequal distribution of income and that something must be done about it, never again is now. With all due respect, I really see it differently, what an old leftist nonsense. Nevertheless, you listen to it all, clap here and there, it's for a bigger purpose. But some things are definitely

not in my name.

Am I still liable for it, as it were by virtue of my presence? A little later we leave, the sun is already gone.

So you become part of something for a beautiful moment without even remotely thinking about all of the parts. That's possible, but there's still discomfort because it's unreasonable. I'm suspicious of large crowds anyway.

Just so we understand each other: I don't want to sound like the disinterested suburban middle class, nor do I want to sound like the conservative snob who looks down on people who try their hardest. The small and large demonstrations in the country are good news, that much is clear to me. People's eyes are opening to what the AfD would do if only it could do as it wanted. It was time. It works.

more on the subject

Minus in the “Politbarometer”: AfD in a downward trend – another survey sees losses

Suddenly you can see the AfDers struggling like non-swimmers in the deep. They have fantasized about the aura of being unstoppable for so long that they now have a real fear that it could evaporate. So for the first time in months they are on the defensive, and to get back on the offensive they are resorting to the most extreme means. It is spread that the millions of demonstrators were somehow ordered or paid for by the federal government. The journalistic research behind closed doors is said to be “Stasi,” a conspiracy and nefarious campaign against the poor AfD. Oh dear, the fun has only just begun.

Still: Black Antifa puts me in a bad mood just seeing the people. I find singing bowls to be a giggle at best, I would like to see “Grandmas against the Left,” and Fridays for Future are now stuck everywhere. Suddenly you're sitting in the same boat with figures like Ms. Bosetti, Thilo Jung or Ms. Chebli, and Luisa Neubauer is giving another speech on the podium in front of the Reichstag. That may be okay for the moment because it's unavoidable, but seriously: I find it strange. How long can this go on? Wouldn't it be better to remain silent at these demonstrations? Silence like a German forest that just stands there, still and solid, and doesn't budge. Like a vigil. Because that's what it's all about.

more on the subject

Berlin mass protest against right-wing extremism: With Fridays, Grandmas and a song against the AfD by Levin Kubeth

Around 1,300 organizations called for the Berlin rally on Saturday,


, that's enormous, we owe them a lot of thanks. But it is also true: ProAsyl, the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband or the sounding singing bowls would never be able to get 150,000 people onto the streets for their cause. Not simply attributing the size of the crowd to one's own cause would be a long-overdue sign that the left can show humility and respect for once. Because whatever the major social trend is at the moment: it is certainly not left-wing.

One immediately believes that the Chancellor is happy about the many demonstrators who are finally not attacking his government. Of course, he first fattened up the party that is being protested against with his traffic light whining. No, the SPD should wave fewer flags at the “against the right” demonstrations and instead govern better.

It's not for nothing that this column is called "Now especially" and I don't feel like having to ask myself for the second time in five years in September whether I should vote for the SPD Prime Minister of Brandenburg so that the brown shirts from the AfD will not become the strongest force. Nothing is easy anymore when politics is divided into two camps. It's pretty uncomfortable.